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The world through an artists eyes

April 12, 2014

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From the perspective of the curious life of an artist in suburbia I reach some interesting conclusions. Of late this view of life has led me to believe that we (swooping generalisation) are happier on the whole, to exist within a hierarchy. Because it gives us, leadership, social parameters and rules to guide us, keeping our lives on the straight and narrow. It prevents the development of consciousness progressing into the great abyss of mystery that surrounds our existence and allows for a more peaceful life. But civilisation is directed into a manufactured system of society that requires cooperation and compliance and this is almost impossible for a free thinking artist to do, because it involves playing to the rules and that is not entirely genuine. So through the eyes of the artist we can see through their window into the world,  which is often quite  different. I know some people think that I’m quite petulant and defiant, but all I’m trying to do is cultivate my artistry into something real and you have to rebel and shout out at the barriers in your way, in what is a life long struggle. A struggle with no guarantees and a life of great hardship because you are exposed, open and vulnerable to ridicule and derision, but there are also great highs both in terms of a broadening understanding and perspective which is wisdom. Along this journey you are also privileged to meet a few people who truly appreciate what you are trying to do and for every life I touch with my work I’m extremely grateful, because that is my art in action.

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Back to my point about social engineering because I’m feeling quite critical about the cynical nature of modern society that rewards compliance and makes examples out of those that choose alternative ways of being.  For the compliant, you do your job as a useful contributor to the economy and pay your taxes, for this you will be rewarded with entertainment and leisure. But through these rewards, I can’t help but feel that we are pacified and indoctrinated into compliance, often through intimidation and fear, a message blatantly used in all forms of the controlling media. Contrary to popular belief everything is not always awesome as we enter a superficial  era of  disconnection, seemingly a period of great wisdom, serviced by the soundbites of fragmented wisdom. I often witness a dilution and fragmentation of complexity into the repetition of the brief synopsis, spoken but not truly understood. I also feel that the sheer bombardment of modern life cajoles, harasses and marches us along in an agitated manner to the point where we are almost held suspended from the reality of being. The sheer quantity of media that comes through screens has so much power and control over our lives, brief moments of entertainment that feed us and leave us with a desire for more like an addiction. Our desire then feeds the system through the creation of demands and this is capitalism and the relentless drive into a meaningless state of being  as we are entertained into compliance through the one size fits all concepts. This is all led by an economic dogma fuelled by profit and greed, a voracious appetite that is first created and then fed whilst it is economically viable. Image is everything as style wins over substance again and again, hairstyles, fashion, cars, food, films, games, holidays are all forced into our consciousness where it becomes an expectation, viral in its nature that forces us to fall in and join the party. And nothing is sacred, it starts virtually from day one of life as we are born into a product rich society, a market economy driven by the corporate sector, a sector monopolised by vast corporations who run the whole show. Corporations whose success is not built on sound ethics but about greed and exploitation in a world that rewards the economics of profit, even though this can be thinly veiled with a mask of  respectability. The economics at the heart of modern life impact so heavily on our daily lifes, that it impacts upon our judgment and perception of life, which I as an artist feel quite deeply when I analyse my own actions and motivations.

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So it’s like we’ve created an appetite for destruction, an appetite that is exploiting everything on the planet, eating up our world and souls, purely for money and greed.  I can’t help but feel that the energy that is money is a dark energy and though many try to rationalise this to justify their greed, they are only fooling themselves, symptomatic of the bigger picture as we exploit each other with a civilised smile. As a father I worry about my world and the future world that my children will inhabit, because I’ve never believed in the philosophy of capitalism and see it as a force for destruction and desolation. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with capitalism, even as a child and through the eyes of my childhood I felt an unease about a system based on profit that necessitated greed, because I felt that there was a limit to the consuming of all the worlds resources. I also realised that capitalism was far from fair, because it’s based on competition and is divisive in nature, ultimately it leads to monopolies and rewards the greediest and often deceitful endeavours, because money equals power. But as a boy I never foresaw how we as humans would be herded into a state of inertia, held in bondage by our financially leveraged situations, forced into compliance through our dependence on the system. Now I sense a disconnection as we become held in a constructed reality which leaves us in quite a benign existence, feeling empowered but with no real power. An existence where a depth of truth is sacrificed as we play out our life with a pretence of civilisation, but the truth is we are powerless, more powerless than ever. We just sit and watch the destruction of the world, sitting comfortably growing older being entertained by the powers that be, trying not to think too deeply about the uncomfortable truths of the hidden realities. A world in which animals are tortured, people are left to starve to death, wars are fought to secure resources whilst we sit in front of screens unable to do anything about it.  And in this divisive world the rich live in their palaces surrounded by the trophies such as the beautiful artwork from around the world, the rewards of exploitation and misery. When I make art I think about all these things because art is about life and sincerity in expression is about truth no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable that is, art is complicated  and deep and although current trends are a fair representation of the world we live in. My thoughts are of a rebellious nature, more subversive and anti establishment. I am proud of who I am, my art and the way I think,  I know it’s just the humble opinion of a single man reflecting on life, but it’s all that I have to offer. To be famous and successful in the eyes of the world I would have to change and compete like a capitalist, to seek attention by making big work, I would have to trade my substance for style and tailor make convenient rhetoric for self promotion but all of this would distract me from being the artist that I am, and I just can’t sell out to a system that I don’t believe in.

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